Revamp govt schools to help rural students

Democracy ordains equal educational opportunities for all children without discrimination. But to put democracy to shame, we have two types of institutions for the urban elite and the rural poor.

While private public schools have various facilities, government schools (where poor students go) are starving of essentials like black boards and chalk pieces, not to speak of teachers.

A Punjabi University study, though based on 10 per cent of the student population in Punjab’s universities, shows that only 4.07 per cent students are from rural areas. The reasons include costly education in private schools, the gap in rural-urban amenities and awareness, and the lack of guidance and coaching for entrance tests for admission to university courses. One may also add poor management, absence of supervision and lack of political will and determination.


In 1966, the Kothari Commission had recommended the Common Schools System for both rich and poor, rural or urban boys or girls so that there was no bias in providing equal educational opportunities. The New Education Policy (1986), the Right to Education Bill (2005) and the Yashpal Committee on NFC (2006) have all endorsed this. However, we seem to have reached a point of no return.

Government schools, which serve the interest of poor and rural students, need to be strengthened with good infrastructure and teachers. Rural students must be helped financially and academically.

Dr T.R. SHARMA, Patiala

Rahul no novice

The editorial “Learner at large” (April 17) was timely. Rahul Gandhi is now in the prime of his youth and is no novice to history either. He, by his slow but steady emergence in politics, is on the path of donning Gandhi’s political legacy.

The late Rajiv Gandhi’s remark after the dreadful anti-Sikh riots following Indira Gandhi’s assassination that the earth is bound to shake when a big tree falls seemed to be simple and casual. But its import was double-edged. Both the statements of Rahul Gandhi seem to be controversial. But the one on the Babri Masjid was for the majority community’s consumption. After all, what is Indian politics? It is to spread fog, make the whole environment as foggiest as possible, take the gullible public for a ride and engage the media in one controversy after the other.

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana

Strike a balance

The other day I read a news-item in a vernacular daily that there is a craze for note-counting machines amongst Madhya Pradesh politicians. The same is the case with doctors running private nursing homes and also the heads of religious organisations. All the three categories are meant to serve the people but they have built their own empires.

On the one hand, GDP growth rate is around 8 per cent. On the other, 30 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line. Those belonging to the below poverty line can spend only up to Rs 12 a day a person. India can progress only through the private corporate sector. But what about the exploitation of the poor by the private sector? Can’t we strike a balance?

BHARAT KUMAR GUPTA,Kandaghat (Solan)


Of Shatabdi and Rajdhani food

According to a report prepared by a Delhi High Court-appointed monitoring committee, the “Rajdhani, Shatabdi food is stale” and that the “train kitchens flout all norms”. Since I travel by these trains quite frequently and have first-hand experience of the problem, I suggest that in the short-distance Shatabdi trains, the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) should go in for paid pantry. The Railways should correspondingly reduce the rail fare for such trains.

As for the long distance Rajdhani trains, greater vigilance is needed to ensure supply of good quality food to the passengers. Since all these long distance trains have a kitchen coach, surprise checks and raids by the IRCTC staff will certainly produce positive results for the traveling public.

S. P. SINGH, Chandigarh

Two-party system

I support Sunder Singh Giani’s suggestion for a two-party system in the country. Our system is getting from bad to worse day by day. Every representative starts minting money, once elected. This must come to an end immediately. I would request the political intelligentsia to rise to the occasion and rescue the nation.


MIS anomaly

The Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) being run by post offices primarily for pensioners and senior citizens offers an interest rate of 8 per cent for a fixed deposit of six years. Moreover, the provision of 10 per cent bonus on completion of this period has also been withdrawn.

Recently, the banks are offering 9.75 per cent to senior citizens on fixed deposits for a period ranging from one to three years. Fair play and justice demand that the postal department rectified this anomaly.




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